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[Discuss] Small Business Server - what do you use?

   - SME Server ( is based on
   CentOS.  There is
   - Zentyal (formerly eBox Platform
   which is based on Ubuntu.
   - ClearOS ( based on RHEL

These projects provide an "out of the box" experience that configures
multiple software packages needed to setup the IT environment for small and
medium enterprises (SMBs) as FOSS alternatives to the Windows Small
Business Server (
and related required products from Microsoft.

SME Server looks a little old in the tooth.  Zentyal looks to me to be more
compelling and complete (and is featured as part of the Ubuntu project).
ClearOS has a comparison page that shows (of course) more little green
checkmarks next to their offering but Zentyal is nearly identical even in
ClearOS' own marketing material

ClearOS seems to have less "out of the box" (requiring more setup or
additional paid apps) but does offer some interesting features like Google
Apps integration (
 ClearOS also seems to have more thought put into their website
demonstrating the solution in various contexts which is good as a way to
quickly assess their solution in depth.

One of the key criteria that I'm interested in is the complete solution in
place of Microsoft Active Directory.  OpenLDAP is often the 'answer', but
there are many pieces that need to work together to get a full IT
infrastructure (certificates, Domain Controller, DNS, etc).  Zentyal offers
a presentation that discusses how they integrated Samba4 which includes
it's own LDAP server (and explains a bit why OpenLDAP was not possible) (registration required to

Any experiences to share or preferences to describe when it comes to
deploying an IT infrastructure for the SMB market?

Greg Rundlett

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